Google faces probe in India after news publishers complain of unfair conditions

India’s competition watchdog has ordered an investigation into Google’s Alphabet Inc after allegations from the news publishers, saying its initial view was that the tech giant had violated some antitrust laws, Trend reports citing India Today.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI), in its request, said that Google dominates some online search services in the country and may have imposed unfair terms on news publishers.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The complainant, the Digital News Publishers Association, which includes the digital arms of some of India’s largest media companies, said Google rejected its members from fair advertising revenue.

“In a well-functioning democracy, the critical role of the news media cannot be undermined,” the CCI order said. “It appears that Google is using its dominant position in relevant markets to gain entry/protect its position in the market for the news aggregation service.”

News organizations, which have been losing ad revenue to online ad aggregators like Google, have complained for years about tech companies using stories in search results or other features without paying.

The CCI order also mentioned new rules in France and Australia – fueled by media and public pressure – that have led to multibillion-dollar mass licensing deals worldwide.

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